NFL, San Francisco tackle homeless issue

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San Francisco isn’t one to poop out regarding its homeless, but with football’s biggest party coming to town, they pose a unique challenge.

About one-fifth of the country’s homeless population resides in California, what with its friendly policies and weather. But if the NFL and city have their way, thousands of tourists who visit the Super Bowl City festivities along Market Street will be oblivious to that fact come early February.

“[The homeless] are going to have to leave,” mayor Ed Lee said. “We’ll give you an alternative. We are always going to be supportive. But you are going to have to leave the streets.
“They can’t be on the streets, not just because it is illegal, but because it is dangerous for them.”

The City will have new programs in place to benefit the less fortunate. Approximately 500 apartments will be built at the taxpayers’ expense to accommodate them. Police, public works and the health departments also will be involved in the process.

The question is whether the measures will be sufficient to handle the 6,700 homeless who reside in the area, according to the latest census figures.

The Super Bowl committee will stage a number of events that figure to draw large numbers at Justin Herman Plaza for eight days.

“All around here we are going to have entertainment, family-friendly activities that will keep it vibrant and crowded,” committee spokesman Nate Ballard said. “We’re going to have 24-7 security.”

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